tv Chief Leschi and Medicine Creek Treaty CSPAN August 5, 2017 10:35pm-11:01pm EDT
the reasons why he is not better known today. >> all weekend, american history tv is featuring tacoma, washington. c-span's cities tour staff recently visited many sites showcasing its history. located approximately 60 miles northwest of mount rainier, tacoma has a population of about 198,000 people. learn more about tacoma all weekend here on american history tv. ms. iyall: we are at a really beautiful place here in the puget sound. this is nisqually homeland, also known as leschi country. to "placee translates where you get your spirit power." we're looking out over the nisqually refuge. people werey originally known as people of
the river, people of the grass. our homeland has always been this entire beautiful area. nisqually people were here pre-territory time and free united states -- pre-united states. the nisqually tribe is incredibly active here. we are -- i don't see us ever going away. the medicine creek treaty is important to us because it helps tribefy the nisqually with our relationship to the federal government, so that is a very important thing. the federal government does play recognized federally tribes to recognize their sovereignty and are supposed to look out for our best interests. that treaty established that relationship and established also our trade areas. during treaty time, we were the that area of five areas
the governor had carved out of the washington territory to execute treaties. governor stevens was bringing railroad to this area. that was his priority and what he was charged with doing. he came here as our first territorial governor and also our first indian superintendent. he wanted to put all of our indian people on their own treaties and then bring that railroad through so that commerce could come in, and they could flourish -- the non-indian people could flourish with what they wanted to build here. when he did come here, he negotiated right off the bat .his medicine creek treaty we went first tried in our area to be negotiated, and i say that loosely because there was a huge barrier of language -- we were be in our area to
be negotiated. of course, the governor spoke english, but the tribe did not. some of the journals say it was ceaseless reigns at that time. of course, we were used to that. we expected it and had to live in that, but i think it was more difficult for the non-indian people, and there were just a few at that time who were here permanently to make new homes, take advantage of that land donation act, bring more nontribal people to the area for settlement. and hischief leschi brother knew that. the medicine creek treaty was really our first interaction with non-indian people, and it scenario that constitutes our relationship with nontribal people. given the way that that negotiation happened for medicine creek treaty, which did not go well -- we were off to a very bad start.
following that negotiation of that treaty was the puget sound indian war. the nisqually tribe did not have a sitting chief. they would choose leaders at the time that they needed a leader. at that time that this very contentious situation was happening between tribal and nontribal people, nontribal people coming in and handling -- settling on grounds that tribal and gatherednted i for generations, there was a huge class, and it was getting to the point where people were trying to take action in terms of fighting it out, who was going to stay. by theeschi was chosen people to lead them through that very contentious situation. so, you know, he was a person of good standing within the tribe. he was known as an orator. he was known as a judge who good health when there were conflicts
-- who could help when there were conflicts in the tribe. prayers help with the -- prairies so they were not overtaken and would keep providing a food source, so he knew an awful lot about the land and how to provide for the people here. he had a lot of great skills, and when it came time to deal with the puget sound indian war, made up of militia farmers and people in this area, and if you can imagine at that years ago now, they were probably pretty scared people, not having lived here and not knowing the land as well, not knowing the tribal people, and knowing that they were coming in on someone's homeland and trying to make their own home, so it was probably a very tense situation for them.
this group of militia people, who were not trained in military tactics, who were farmers mainly, pull themselves together and were coming after chief peopleand the nisqually and were going to fight for their homes. nisqually leaders in all the warriors who banded together did what they needed to do. there were not any really out and out battles in this war. there were skirmishes, and that was kind of based on bumping into each other. the militia people really did not know the area very well, so you can kind of see how it is hard for them to strategize a battle or something like that, but there was one particular someent where there were military personnel along with the militia people, and they ran into a band of tribal warriors,
and there was some -- the battle was big enough that there were people killed. after that battle, governor stevens had just gotten back of negotiating all five treaties in our washington territory, and he had heard about this battle, and he was so upset that leschi was causing all of this trouble and hysteria that was going on and people did not feel safe and were concerned about building this new land. became his scapegoat, and he really went after leschi and called out murder of this lieutenant that was shot or killed on the battlefield during a time of battle. he was brought in, and he was put in jail over in the silicon
area, small little jail, and he was in there for quite some time . if you can imagine a person who grew up in this beautiful area eating fish, dear, all these natural foods and staying healthy and being put into a jail and who knows what he was ? d for month after month he became really sick, and, of course, he was heartbroken because he was not with his family and not protecting his people. knowing that he was in jail, his brother decided he was going to least sitlf in and at by the side of his brother while he was in jail, so he did have -- prior to all of this, both brothers had made very good friends with the nontribal farmers. some family names that are still here even now, so they really
have been a big part of our history, but they became good friends. a couple of those individuals him down to rode where the governor was staying. he turned himself in. it was well past midnight. the governor was sound asleep, so some of his personnel put him in an office or a room that was located downstairs and lock the door. quiemuth sat quietly and with to sleep. someone was able to get in that room and stab him. he ran after that person who stabbed him and he made it about 12, 15 feet and died right there. this was right on the governor's doorstep. nothing ever happened to that
person. a man was detained but only for a few hours, and then he was let go, and nothing was ever set of that, and that was one of our very beloved leaders who was treated in that manner -- nothing was ever said of that. , stayedrother, leschi in jail to see what would happen. a trial was scheduled. it ended up being a hung jury, so there was a second trial that was scheduled, and this was in downtown olympia, which was a hotbed of all this hostility. our indian people were just having a really hard time. they had lost some of their beloved leaders. they had lost a lot of family including elders and children in a massacre was a big part of the puget sound war. we have just been really beat down during this.
but a second trial, which from a doctornce and a lieutenant who was at the thatar army who had shown this so-called murder of this war,enant during a time of who governor stevens was using that particular incident to say murdererf leschi was a , and he knew to be accountable for that action -- this trial was focused on finding chief leschi guilty. even though there was a mound of maps -- theyluding had testimony that leschi was with certain people over here at point a and that the so-called murder of this lieutenant in this time of war over here was too far away for leschi to even
be there, so it was really a farce that he was found guilty because it was so hostile here. he was taken back to jail. there was a hanging that was scheduled. wanted theevens support of the regular army, and the general at that time was not going to do that because there really was not -- it could have been controlled, but governor tunnel visionch on creating this railroad and bringing commerce here that he was forgetting about the people and not showing any care whatsoever for the nisqually people and the other tribal people who had lived here for generations, for thousands of years. the federal government put in place as hopefully play to make all the tribes, no matter what their past was, farmers. for some tribes, that worked because they did farm, before a lot of, that did not work
because they were hunters, gatherers, maybe they were more nomadic. people ofshermen and the grass. we were not farmers, so that really was a death sentence, and that is why that puget sound war happened. that's why leschi and quiemuth stood up and said, "we are going to stand our ground. we are going to have our people stay on this river and have access to these grasslands." after this and getting that medicine creek treaty corrected, after the child's happened, after being found guilty, after everything that had happened, it came time for chief leschi to be hanged -- after the trial happened, after being found guilty. that was the sentence the judge gave at the time, and the judge ordered the regular army to do the hanging.
the man in the army who had to actually do the hanging said he felt like he was hanging an innocent man, and he regretted having to do that. they were not happy about having to do that. it turned out that stevens was reprimanded by the president for this whole thing and for that specifically, but leschi was hanged, and his last words that forever the people will remember him and what happened to the nisqually and all the indian people at that time and that one day, his spirit would be free, and that he wanted all of his children, grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren to know what had happened at that time, that very time that really was what constitutes our relationship with the nontribal people of washington state. after all that happened, there was so much lost. about 150 years later, and one of my elders, who is gone now, who i absolutely loved her --
her name was sicilian carpenter, and she believed that the stars were just all in the right place. my uncle, who i also just adored and luck, sat me down one afternoon and said, "i've got a project for you. it is time to clear leschi's name." at the same time cecelia was thinking that this was a good time to do something for leschi after all this time. i started talking amongst other people who had that same kind of 'sssion to help free leschi spirit and clear the air on what had happened. there were some great people who came out of the historical community and the political community, including chief justice gerry alexander and pierce county executive john landenberger. they came out and really pulled
together the pieces that we needed to create this historical court that happened in the washington state museum in december 2004, and it was a full day of court, so this was the third trial for leschi. there were eight appointed judges. there were witnesses that were experts in their field, including military experts who came in and spoke on that battle that had happened where that lieutenant had been killed, and all of that evidence was reintroduced -- the maps, the testimony, and all those things were brought forward. it was a tough day, but through all of that, there was a unanimous finding -- a unanimous ruling at the end of that court by that special tribunal, and they cleared -- they exonerated chief leschi after all of that, so that's when i really believe his spirit was freed.
i think a lot of us here at nisqually just felt amazing knowing that the whole story had now been told. we did not discount what had happened in the past. that was really important history, but we added that final chapter. i think most importantly, it shows a real strength of tribal sovereignty. it shows a real strength of tribal culture and the desire of indian people to keep our culture alive and make sure that it is not taken away. there were many attempts through indian policy and through all kinds of situations like this tried to shut indian people down, but i think this is one of the actions -- there's a lot of great indian leaders in our history, and i think leschi is right up there for standing solid, maintaining our sovereignty, and letting people
know that this border will never be broken. our cities tour staff recently traveled to tacoma, washington, to learn about its rich history. learn more about tacoma and other stops on our tour at c-span.org/citiestour. you are watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3. sunday, an american educator, tea party activist, author, and attorney's our guest. >> for different reasons, everybody has an idea that the federal government is out of control, and then the most asked question i get as we teach -- what do you suppose that is? what do we do about it? had we been teaching the constitution properly for the last 150 years, we would know
what to do. >> she is the author of several .ooks during our live three-our conversation, we will be taking your phone calls, tweets, and facebook questions. watch sunday live from noon to on0 p.m. eastern on booktv c-span two. >> the state of pennsylvania was founded by quaker william penn in 1682 as a sanctuary for religious freedom. many quakers have lived and worshiped in philadelphia ever since. next on american history tv's american artifacts, a visit to arch street meetinghouse, learn thed in 1804 to story of philadelphia's society of friends and to learn about the history and practices of quakers.
>> welcome to arch street meetinghouse. i'm the director here. today, i'm going to talk a little bit about the building we are standing in, a quaker place of worship, and also a little bit about quakers. at the beginning of our tours we normally do with visitors and school groups, we have them look around this space. we do a lot of comparing this site to other religious sites people are used to visiting because it is sort of outside the norm. we have people look around and let us know what is different historicared to other religious sites or just religious sites they have been to. a lot of times they notice there are not stained glass windows for large, golden candles, or even a place for a priest or deacon to stand and give a sermon or something like that, and that's because quakers worship in a way that is different than most folks do. it is a christian religion, so on a typical sunday, this is still an act of congregation
meeting here for worship, and what happens now and what happened to hundred years ago is pretty similar out here in philadelphia. people gather and sit in silence for an hour. historically, people would gather in this space, and that would be quakers you have heard of from history such as susan b anthony and william penn and lucretia mott -- they would meet in buildings similar to this and sit in silence for an hour. if anybody in the congregation stand up andre to share a message, if they felt moved to speak, they could arise in the silence and share what they had to share. a question we get asked often is what with the quakers have said during worship. we like to throw it back to history because it is easier to say it like this, that susan b anthony, when she had a message, it was probably related to women's rights and women's suffrage because that is what she was fighting for the most. it was on her mind.
out aia mott -- she spoke lot. we have records of some of the talks she was giving during worship, and they relate to abolition and urging other quakers to feel the same way she did about freeing slaves. quakerss you may hear referred to as friends, usually with a capital f, and that is because the formal name is the religious society of friends, which was formed in england in the 1650's by a number of people, but prominently, george fox was his name. the thought leaders in england were sort of -- they did not agree with the english church, and all the stuff we talked about today about simplicity and wasnness -- the church then in complete and total opposition to that. things were fancy. it was not all about worship, and the quakers wanted to pair pare that downo
and you only things that were useful, and sort of wanted to remove all of the artifice and maybe the middleman. they thought they could communicate directly with god, and they saw everything else is being superfluous. early quaker leaders were jailed for their beliefs. if they were on street corners preaching, they could be thrown in prison for speaking out the way they were about their quaker beliefs. the persecution they face in england was one of the reasons they started to come to america. it they originally lived in the new jersey and pennsylvania area. it's one of the reasons william penn was so motivated to come and start the colony of pennsylvania, to get away from the persecution that was going on in europe at the time. theonday night on
communicators, we are at the black hat conference in las moulton,h jeff executive director of the stevenson national center for security research and training at louisiana state university. federal government, mark's face industries, banks -- banks are getting hacked almost daily. we're not going to eliminate this threat. we have got to learn to live with it. we have lived for millennia with the flu virus. we have learned to live with it. youdo certain things when feel exposed. it's going around, you get a shot, try to inoculate yourself, isolate yourself from other folks that have the flu. there are titanic measures taken in the physical world that are now used in the digital world. >> c-span two. >> out next on american history tv, from the national constitution center in
philadelphia, editor-in-chief -- beast, thely founding fathers warning to future generations. that presidentes washington warns future generations about the dangers of bipartisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars. this is about an hour. >> we are enormously fortunate today to have as our guest john avalon that is the editor-in-chief of the daily beast and the cnn political analyst. he's here today to discuss his , "the founding fathers warning to future generations, which has already been praised addition toic national literature. please join me today and welcoming our wonderful guest. [applause]